Wildcats claw past New Mexico , Elon

Courtney Scrib

In their second tournament of the season, Villanova’s women’s basketball team players proved themselves champions. Tournament MVP Liad Suez and sophomore Kate Dessart Mager led the team. In the final game of the Holiday Inn Mountain View Lobo Invitational on Nov. 19, the ‘Cats defeated University of New Mexico 70-57. With the win, which was the team’s fifth consecutive victory, they improved their season record to 5-1.

During Saturday’s game the Wildcats broke a school record for 3-point accuracy, making 65 percent of their shots. Overall, the ‘Cats shot 50.9 percent from the floor and allowed just five turnovers.

“The last game against New Mexico was a great experience,” sophomore forward Suez said. “You don’t get a lot of chances in life to play in front of 10,000 [spectators].” Suez had 16 points in the final game, shooting four-of-eight from three-point range, to add to her four rebounds and five assists.

In addition to Suez, several other ‘Nova players had outstanding performances. While senior Courtney Mix provided the team with her valuable leadership and solid rebounding, Mager scored a career-high 18 points and received All-Tournament Team honors. “Kate played especially well and came through for us in that second game,” senior guard Kelly Nash said.

Other top scorers were sophomore Jenna Viani with 11 points and Nash, who was three of four from three point range.

“We really came together as a team,” Nash said, “and that is the reason we were able to win. Everyone played well and filled their roles.”

Before advancing to the tournament championship game, ‘Nova cruised past Elon College in the first round on Nov. 28, defeating the Phoenix 66-45. Suez again led the way for the Wildcats with 12 points and hit three three-pointers during a 16-5 Villanova run in the second half.

Freshman forward Jackie Adamshick also scored in double figures in the game, posting 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Despite the success of last weekend, the team is still focused on improving and learning to play better as a team. “As much fun as it was winning in New Mexico . . . we still have a lot of hard work and a tough schedule ahead of us,” Suez said.

Next, ‘Nova will face University of Pennsylvania in the Pavilion on Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m.